The Pagemasters Vol 2 Chapter 1

 


Author: Literataku


Chapter 1:
Without Even Being

 

 

I don’t even recall falling asleep. All I know was suddenly waking up my breathing heavy and feeling sweat running across my brow. Master and Red were still sitting at the computer looking at something on the monitor. I shook my head, getting up to my feet unsteadily. This wasn’t something I was used to dealing with, I couldn’t remember anything at all about what I was dreaming.

Master was pointing out something on the screen. It looked like they were still on the map from when I had gone to lie down. The two of them exchanging a strange glance with each other as they notice me returning then both looking at me with puzzled expressions.

“I thought ye said ye were going to lie down for a bit?”

It was my turn to give a puzzled look back, raising my eyebrows slightly and tilting my head to the side. “I did…I have been…”

Master tilted his head in response. “Ye barely laid down, boy. I don’t even think a couple of minutes have passed.”

That was impossible. I’ve felt like I slept for hours, long enough to wake from some nightmare I can’t even recall now. Was this the reason Master said this place wasn’t good to stay in for long? Time goes out of whack maybe?

Unless they were lying to me about something. But what reason would they have? It made no sense to me at all. My head was starting to hurt trying to work in circles for reasons and the best I could think was simply time is screwy. Oops, both of them are looking at me with weird expressions. Welp, I might as well tell a half-truth until I could confirm any other suspicions

“Something about this place is making me feel uncomfortable… I think I can rest better outside of here. It’s hard to think about anything else.”

Master nodded his head slightly, taking the answer at face value for the most part. I think he agreed with me about the uneasiness of this unfinished place. Looking back at the screen he tapped a few more keys and muttered something under his breath.

“Might do better to have a day or two longer for reconnaissance and make sure those fairies aren’t completely onto us. Ye don’t have to be a cat the entire time, just for the christening and until we know we aren’t being watched by any potential enemies in the kingdom.”

Master noticed my grimace halfway through. I guess he realized I wasn’t too happy with the thought about being stuck in cat form for any longer than necessary. I tried to look half chastized and lowered my head slightly.

“There could be other trouble brewing here. I’m sensing the work of other stories brewing and I am not liking where things could be headed.”

“Do you think there’ll be interference, Master?”

“It’s not thinking if there’ll be anything, it’s who is going to provide it. Pan is still out there and if he is helping the fairies..”

“He might try to kidnap the Princess sometime between now and when she reaches her sixteenth birthday. Neverland is the worst case scenario for everything in this situation. That guy is going to be the worst problem to deal with until we can wrap up his fairy tale.”

“There are only two people in the fantasy worlds that can reach Neverland. And neither of them should be considered an ally outside the worst case scenario. But it is the only place we can seal away their story, unfortunately.”

Giving his wings a quick flap, Master flew to land on my shoulder and looked toward the closed gateway, it was slightly surprising to see that it was now permanently standing in the middle of our space so close to the computer.

|{System Override}| |{Coordinates: Be-Weep-Gra-Nah-Weep-Nini-Bong}| |{Release Exit}| [1 AN: If you don’t get it just Google it.]

Red gave Master a strange look that seemed to ask if something he did was some sort of joke, he almost seemed to be pleading it to be. Ok, I thought those coordinates were weird too but I don’t know why they deserve that kind of look. This system is so sdrawkcabssa anyways I think any modern programmer would have a fit trying to decipher it. Door’s open let’s get out of here before anything else gets surreal.

Slipping through the gate we found ourselves just on the outskirts of a large castle town. Royaleux the royal capital of Roux Seiler, I had to question someone’s naming sense of things around here. Though I can’t entirely be the one to cast the first stone after naming a murder Shi in one of my stories.

It was far enough on the outside of the walls and away from the roads to the city gates that we should be undetected exiting out here. Especially since we needed to make some preparations regarding our entry into the city. Since I was going to be in cat form for the first couple of days, and Master would be playing scout across the city since the fairies might recognize him my task was to make Red a traveling hero invited to the christening for this venture.

The question was going to be if it would hold up with the fairies or not. Master assured me that they wouldn’t be able to detect him. They didn’t have the protections of being main characters nor having seen him before when we had our first encounter was also a plus. Though I remain dubious.

|{Rirato shite}|

Reaching into the air I gripped my fingers into the threads of reality, closing my eyes and focusing on our stories. Twisting my fingers as I started to realign everything into place. One of my fingers hitting some sort of snag partway, something wasn’t fitting properly for a second. I twisted a little harder and it began to fall into place. That was strange, I’ve only done this twice outside of practice but that shouldn’t be normal.

“Master… I felt weird feedback during the rewrite.”

Master looked at me for a moment before closing his eyes and muttering a spell under his breath. He clicked his beak slightly. “It might be a main character’s interference or another Pagemaster. If someone else detected that they might know of our presence.”

“So is it still safe for you two, Clarion-sama?”

Master thought for a second and nodded. “The only person capable of recognizing us without any clues to our identities is another Pagemaster. And having a third ally is needed and most welcome. Anyone one else capable of detecting rewrite might be aware of us but unless they know who they are looking for it will only make them weary. Just keep ye eyes open”

Red and I nodded. “It might be Violet…If she is here.”

Red and Master gave me an odd look as I spoke. “And how do ye figure that?”

I opened my mouth and found I couldn’t say anything again, I couldn’t even mouth the words I wanted to say. I had no clue why I wasn’t able to talk about the visions or whatever so I merely shrugged with a sigh. “Call it a hunch. Gut feelings, I guess.”

Red frowned slightly but seemed to shrug it off muttering under his breath about “weird fantasy rules why not have feelings.” I’ll just ignore his comments while I pull out my card spell and start working on transformation. That was probably going to take a couple of tries.
Poof!

Or maybe just one try. I hope I didn’t just burn all my luck for today. Looking up at Red, I could see the smirk on his face looking down at me. We’ll see if you are still smirking when I-

“Hey! Ouch, watch the claws you bastard!”

I climbed up his shirt, claws out, to settle across his shoulders and behind his head lightly gripping with my claws into his shoulders to keep steady. I fit so I sit. And I looked like a familiar of a wizard or hero now. My job getting us into the city was done.

Master gave an annoyed look to me, probably jealous I too his perching spots. But he was already known to one faction so being on his own was probably safer until we all got into the city and knew who was watching us. He’d meet us inside the town after he had tagged the various players we might be dealing with. He gave a quick huff and took off for the walls, flapping away quickly into the sky.

Red gave me a side glance before starting for the road to the gates, grumbling a little as I rode on his shoulders. I’d been Master’s shoulder perch for weeks he could handle a short walk into the city. Though I guess there was the fact I was likely many times heavier…

“Blue-san. It just occurred to me, what about money if we have to pay tax to enter?”

“You should have some in-yan your pouch. It’ll always have what you-a need.”

“And what the hell is with your speech?”

“I can’t help it. It’s something to do with the transformation.”

Red shook his head, making me dig my claws into his shoulder slightly. Watch it! This is a balancing act as it is with just the walking, ok? He grunts and continues toward the road, leading us up to the gate… and the incredibly long line to get inside the royal city. Well, this might take a while…

To my surprise, Red marched up closer to the gateway and stepped toward the guards. They gave him a look as though about to wave him off before stopping as they caught sight of him.

“Where is the line for Nobles to enter?”

The guard looked at him as if he didn’t understand the question for a moment, his eyes unfocused. Gesturing to the open gate as he bowed slightly to Red. “Please enter as you desire, Sir. Heroes are always welcomed to enter immediately, by order of the King. His Majesty would request you come to the castle and speak with him as soon as possible.”
I’m sorry what did he just say? Red and I looked at each other, this was possibly a lot of different things that could go wrong. But at least it seemed to be a faster entry than waiting like all these other peasants and lesser nobles lined up in front of the castle gate. We’d possibly be stuck out here for a day or more otherwise.

“Red offered a slight bow in return. “Thank you. I shall head there quickly.” Passing into the gate I felt like I had done this before. Well definitely not being a cat infiltrating a royal city. But entering into this gate just like this. Focusing on the moment I tried to gaze forward, lathing into it, someone was about to say something to us… I could see her face starting to fade as I tried to force it.

“Blue the city is under threat…” What was she told me… any second I would be able to hear her voice for real.

“Hero!”

Oh, cruel reality, why must you spit in my face? The voice was the opposite spectrum of feminine deep brash and loud, rough as if it had spent half his life shouting at the top of his lungs. Turning my head to look at the guy while red spun around on his feet- Hey now I’m going to claw you more if you keep this up! Slow down!

Once I regained myself I was almost knocked over by the strength of the man grabbing Red’s hand and giving him a firm shake. Digging my claws in deeper, sorry I think I’m drawing blood now. Though from how firm that handshake is looking, it’s not circulating to your hand right now anyway. Pulling us up close as he gave Red a manly embrace the guy leaned his head in to whisper to Red. “There are deeper troubles than the king knows… find us at Leonida’s Pit Tavern after you meet with him.”

He pulled back with a loud laugh. “Good journey and great to meet you again, my friend. Please come have a drink after you settle in.”

Red nodded with a quick “Aye!” Before pulling away and heading down the main road to the center of the city and the royal castle. He gave me a quick glance as we walked along the streets. I think he was getting the same feeling I am. We are being watched right now. Looking about lazily in cat fashion I swear a few people were staring at Red a little too hard, pointing them out Red gave a casual glance, playing tourist of sorts and watching as the people stopped looking at us when they fell in his line of sight. Great. Suspicion confirmed. Now I’m probably going to be stuck in cat form a lot longer.

Welp first day in a new land and already intrigue is ramping up to eleven. Let’s go say hello to the King and hope we don’t set the city on fire before the day runs out. Wait! No! I don’t mean it! I don’t mean It! STOP! STOP! STOP!


 


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